Creating tension through your lats during the eccentric, or negative portion of the bench is one of the key elements to building a bigger bench.
When you load up properly, it will give you an explosive spring off your chest. I like the analogy of loading up a spring. Press down on the spring as you lower the weight, release the spring and explode up when you press.
Practice this simple bench press drill to build tension in your lats for a bigger bench press:
Set your arch.
Screw your shoulder blades into your back pocket.
As you lower the bar, try to touch the outside of your lats together and load your lats as you lower the weight to your chest.
Create so much tension that you cannot touch an unloaded barbell to your chest.
Do the same with weight on the bar and the weight will force the bar to touch, giving you an explosive spring off your chest.
Building tension through your lats is one of the best ways to optimize your bench press and blast through your sticking points.
Looking to build a bigger bench? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “BENCH” in the subject line!